Off-Page SEO

Link Bursts

Shahid Maqbool

By Shahid Maqbool
On Jul 4, 2023

Link Bursts

What is Link Burst?

A link burst means a website suddenly gets a lot more backlinks from other sites in a short amount of time.

This can happen naturally if the website creates a viral post that gets shared and talked about everywhere. Lots of sites may link back to such hot content.

But some sites try to manipulate this by artificially making a link burst happen. They may buy links or spam sites. While a rush of new links can temporarily boost a website's ranking, it looks suspicious if it's too extreme.

If search engines think the site did something sneaky or spammy to force link burst, they may actually punish the website by removing it from the results.

Bad effects of link bursts

As long as your site has a natural link burst, it's great. However, artificial link bursts can have several negative effects on a website's SEO. 


Search engines have special systems to catch sneaky website tricks. If Google discovers a website used shady tactics just to get lots of quick links, that site may be punished.

This penalty means the website will be ranked way lower in search results. Or it may even totally disappear from search results.

Suspicion of spamming

When a website suddenly gets a lot of links, search engines get suspicious. They wonder if those links were fake or spammy.

If it doesn't seem natural for the website to attract new links that fast, Google may think they were manipulated.

So if a link burst looks fake, the search engines may flag the website for doing shady spam tactics. The website could then get penalized or banned from search results altogether.

Short-term gains

A link burst can briefly move a website up in search results. More links signal to Google that the site must be popular and valuable.

However, this ranking boost usually lasts just a short time before vanishing again. That's because search engines are constantly scanning sites and can detect when link bursts are fake or manipulated.

Damage to reputation

Fake link bursts don't just risk penalties - they can also hurt a website's reputation for a long time.

If search engines or visitors realize a site is boosting its popularity artificially, they lose trust in that site.

Wasted resources

Trying to instantly build links through shortcuts like link bursts often ends up being a waste.

Getting all those links can take a lot of money or effort. But they usually don't last long if search engines realize they were manipulated.

No referral traffic

Another problem with fake link bursts is they may not actually send any visitors.

Low-quality or spammy links don’t lead to sites people want to click on. So even with more links, the website won’t get more clicks and visitors from them.

This can be especially frustrating if the link bursts were created with the goal of driving traffic to the website.

How to fix a link burst?

If a website has been penalized or experienced negative effects as a result of a link burst, several steps can be taken to fix the issue:

Remove any low-quality or irrelevant links

If the website has built low-quality or spammy links, it's important to remove them.

The best option is to directly contact those sites and ask them to delete the manipulative links. This helps take control of link quality.

Another option is to use a tool like Google’s Disavow tool. The website owner can list bad links for Google to ignore. This signals they don’t want those shady links harming their reputation and visibility.

Focus on natural link-building

If a website suddenly gets a lot of low-quality links, it needs to recover by slowly building good links instead.

To do this, the website should make helpful content that other sites might want to link to. The website can also ask relevant sites if they are willing to link to good content.

Wait it out

If the website has been penalized by search engines, it may take some time for the penalty to be lifted.

While waiting for it, the website should keep making useful content that could earn good links naturally over time

Work with an SEO expert

If the website is seeing bad effects from getting too many low-quality links suddenly, it should probably get help from an SEO expert.

The SEO expert can find and fix the issues caused by the bad links. They can also guide the website on how to slowly build good, natural links instead.

Tools to identify unusual activity in backlink

There are several tools available that can help identify unusual spikes in your website's backlink profile. 

Here are some popular options:


Ahrefs lets users easily see and analyze all the links pointing to a website. This helps check the quality of those links and where they come from.

Ahrefs also sends automatic alerts when it finds new links to a website. This allows website owners to watch out for any weird spikes in links, which could mean link burst issues.


Moz Pro offers a suite of tools, including Link Explorer. It shows information about a website's own backlinks and also those of competing sites.

Link Explorer gives spam scores to backlinks. This helps detect unusual link patterns that might be a product of a negative SEO attack.

Google Search Console

Google Search Console is a free tool offered by Google, essential for anyone managing a website. It provides data about your site's performance in Google Search, including your backlink profile.

GSC may not provide as much detailed backlink analysis as paid tools like Ahrefs or Moz.

But because it comes straight from Google, it gives reliable data on any odd or suspicious changes in your backlinks. This makes it essential for catching potential link burst issues.


Majestic is a tool that specifically focuses on backlinks. It has an extremely large database of links, making it one of the most complete backlink checkers available.

Majestic uses different metrics to measure the value of a website's backlinks. Two main ones are Trust Flow and Citation Flow. Trust Flow scores the quality and reliability of the sites linking to you. Citation Flow approximates the number of links pointing to you.

These metrics help identify if a website suddenly got an unusual spike in links from poor or irrelevant sites. This data can help evaluate their potential impact on your site's SEO health.


A flood of new links may move the website up in search results, increasing traffic. But low-quality, spammy links often lead to punishments later on.

To prevent penalties, websites should avoid shady link tactics. It's better to slowly build real connections through good content and outreach. Rushing to get lots of links often causes long-term problems.

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